Village Fetes (and Wallis Bird)

Last weekend we had a lovely family day at the Innocent Village Fete in Regents Park. It’s a nice idea to take a big green space in the centre of London and do an old fashioned village fete (complete with ferret racing, welly throwing and scones) and add in some good live music (Wallis Bird – our absolute favourite singer songwriter at the moment) and a helter skleter and other kid-friendly rides.
As part of the site to promote the event, there’s a handy Fete Finder which will help you find an actual village (or school) fete in your area. And although their fete blog is currently preoccupied with celebrating their own event, it also acts as a nice celebration of fete culture in general.

I thought that fetes would be the sort of things which appeal to I Like Old Shops so I emailed Anne who runs that site to ask if she knew of any other sites which celebrate this particularly British custom. Anne says:
"Not sure if this is in the right ballpark but Strange Britain is good for customs and weird folklore and Wacky Nation does similar. There’s also a good book by Iain Aitch called A Fete Worse Than Death that covers the same ground."

If you’ve never heard Wallis Bird, do listen to the songs on her MySpace page. The songs are good on cd, but live she’s exceptional – a bundle of charisma and a fantastic performer. One of the songs from her set in Regents Park on Saturday has already turned up on YouTube – Click on the play button on the right of this text to enjoy.

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Cambridge Folk and online Telly

>> Cambridge Folk Festival

All roads lead to Cambridge this weekend for the biggest event in the folk music calendar. Online highlights include:

– Listen again to Radcliffe and Maconie with sessions from Seth Lakeman, Laura Marling, Devon Sproule and Tunng

– Get an exclusive free download of a Devon Sproule session track (UK only)

– Video of performances from many of the headline acts appearing at Cambridge

– Mike Harding’s podcast features a full audio preview of the festival

– Full line-up details with the chance to listen to tracks from many of artists appearing

– Photos

– Folk blog featuring posts from Mike Harding and some of the biggest names in folk.

>> Blinkx remote

This is useful. An easy-to-browse (or search)guide to all the TV shows legally available to watch online or download in the UK from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel Five. All this information is already available elsewhere, but now you can find it all in the same place. Simple and effective!

‘The world’s biggest free music service’

>> Last FM
I’ve been a fan of this site for a few years. It’s an interesting mixture of online radio, music recommendations and MySpace-ish social networking, but until now it’s tended to appeal mainly to younger users or music geeks. This week the site has had a major upgrade which is likely to make it much more appealing even to the least geeky of music fans
Site visitors in the UK, US and Germany can now play full-length tracks and entire albums for free on the Last.fm site. They now bill themselves as ‘the world’s biggest free music service’. You can listen to each track up to three times in full. After that, you can still access 30” clips, and find links to buy that track as a download or on CD.
In addition unsigned artists can upload their own music and get payed every time someone listens to their tracks via the site. If you choose to sign up and create a profile page, Last FM will track your listening habits, create an updating list your most listened-to songs and artists and generate lists of recommended tracks and artists based on your current favourites
Also mentioned today:

Music Club Live / Festive greetings

>> Radio 2 Music Club Live
Earlier this month Radio 2 hosted a concert featuring six acts we have supported from the beginning of their careers. Go online now to see photos, hear live tracks and watch backstage video of james Blunt, KT Tunstall, The Hoosiers, Tom Baxter and more. Then tomorrow from 2200 you can listen again to the whole gig and watch 30 minutes of highlights online or on digital TV (via the red button service)

Also mentioned today:
>> Elf Yourself
>> Everyclick presents Santa Swing

I Wish I’d Thought Of That

>> Radio 2: I Wish I’d Thought Of That
>> Share your experiences of using MySpace, Facebook and other social networking sites
I Wish I’d Though Of That is Radio 2’s new series (hosted by Kate Thornton) profiling some of the big webby innovations and entrepreneurs. I crop up ocassionally during the series in ‘talking head’ mode.
Tonight’s programme tells the story of MySpace – the social networking phenomenon which launched the careers of Lily Allen and Arctic Monkeys. Visit the programme’s site to find out more, listen again to last week’s show and share your experiences of using MySpace and other social networking sites.

Personalised Bob Dylan Video Messages (plus Rugby Tips)

Dylan_2>> Send a Bob Dylan video message
To promote the release of the forthcoming Dylan: His Greatest Songs compilation, this site gives all Dylan lovers the chance to create a customised version of the iconic Subterranean Homesick Blues video. Simply type in your choice of message to have your words appear on Bob’s giant cue cards. When you’re happy with the results, you can send the video to a friend.

Also mentioned today:
>> VideoJug: Rugby explained on video
We introduced you to this excellent video site last year. The site offers short clips which teach you the kind essential life skills they don’t always teach you at school, like how to get a perfect wet shave or tie a Windsor knot.
Ahead of the Rugby World Cup they have assembled a series of survival tips for both die hard fans and oval-ball novices. Find out how to avoid a tackle or brush up on related subjects like how to get served quickly at the bar. See also:
>> Rugby For The Girls
>> Rugby World Cup: Official site
>> Rugby World Cup on BBC Sport

Friday Quick Links

>> DIY Fix-it
Extensive illustrated guides to loads of different DIY projects. For those intimidated by technical terms like wallpaper or plumbing, the beginner’s approach allows you to select which part of the house you want to do something to, and get a list of projects that you could do in that room.

>> Barbecue Bible
Recipes, "BBQ History" and the BBQ 10 Commandments (“Know when to baste, guage yor fuel, keep it lubricated and never desert your post”!)

Newsbreaker >> Newsbreaker
This variation on the classic arcade game Breakout rewards you for clearing lines of bricks by linking you to headlines for breaking news stories

>> YouTube clip of the week: Newbreaker Game
At the premiere of Spiderman 3 in LA, the cinema audience took part in a demo of a big-screen version of the afore-mentioned Newsbreaker game. The gameplay here was controlled by a motion sensor tracking the movements of the entire audience

>> BBC Music: Reading & Leeds Weekender
The Beeb’s summer music festival coverage concludes with extensive video highlights (both online and on the digital TV red button service) from the main stages at Reading and Leeds. Headliners include Razorlight, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Smashing Pumpkins, Kings Of Leon, Arcade Fire and Bloc Party

Also mentioned: Travel links for Notting Hill Carnival:
>> Transport for London Journey Planner
>> BBC London Travel News